Chester deaconing 2015

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undefinedPictured after their ordination at Chester Cathedral on Sunday 5 July, 2015, are 13 new deacons to serve in our diocese. Their names are listed below ...

Christine Buckley St George, Poynton
Kaushal David St Mary, Nantwich
Simon Donohoe St Mary, Cheadle
Jennifer Dunlop Saint Mark, Dukinfield
Virginia Gerearts St Wilfred, Davenham
Matthew Guest Christ Church, Wharton 
Gary Kennaugh St Mark, Lache cum Saltney 
Bernard Moss All Saints, Odd Rode
Robin Pye St Peter, Hale and St Elizabeth, Ashley
Lisa Redfern Saint Alban, Broadheath 
Alasdair Rodgers St Andrew, Bebington
Laura Rhodes St Bartholomew, Wilmslow, and St Anne, Wilmslow 
Mark Turner St Nicholas, Burton, and St Michael, Shotwick

With them in the photograph are: Bishops Peter Forster, Libby Lane and Keith Sinclair; Archdeacons Ian Bishop and Mike Gilbertson; Diocesan Registrar Helen McFall; preacher at the service the Very Revd John Chalmers (Principal Clerk and a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland); Honorary Assistant Bishops Graham Dow and John Hayden; Solomon Akanbi (the Dean of Ayetoro Cathedral in Nigeria); Bishop’s Chaplain Keith Hine; Director of Ordinands (DDO) Magdalen Smith and Assistant DDO Lorraine Reed. Photographs by Simon Warburton

Our diocese’s ordinations this summer mark the first time a woman bishop has taken part in ordination services. The Bishop of Stockport, the Rt Revd Libby Lane – who was the first woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Church of England, on 26 January this year – joined the Bishops of Chester and Birkenhead (the Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster and the Rt Revd Keith Sinclair) for Sunday’s ordination service.

Towards the end of the service the newly-ordained deacons were invited to stand, and each was given a Bible. “Receive this book, as a sign of the authority which God has given you this day to preach the gospel of Christ and to minister his holy sacraments,” the deacons were told.

The new deacons were sent out to these words …

God who has called you is faithful. May the Father, whose glory fills the heavens, cleanse you by his holiness and send you to proclaim his word. Amen.

May Christ, who has ascended to the heights, pour upon you the riches of his grace. Amen.

May the Holy Spirit, the comforter, equip you and strengthen you in your ministry. Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

Bishop Libby said of the ordinations: “Ordaining men and women for ministry as deacons and priests in the church is a key task of a bishop. In the service of our consecration we are reminded that bishops ‘are to discern and foster the gifts of the Spirit in all who follow Christ, commissioning them to minister in his name’, and are asked, ‘Will you be faithful in ordaining and commissioning ministers of the gospel?’. To do so for the first time has been deeply moving.

“For many years I have had the privilege of being engaged in the discernment and selection of those offering for ordination, as an Assistant DDO and as a Bishop’s Selection Advisor. I greatly enjoyed travelling with people exploring how is God calling them to serve; walking with them through the process that discovers if ordination is their vocation. It is an extraordinary honour now to be ordaining those who have been through such a journey, and are embarking on the next stage of their adventure with God.

“Those ordained deacon and priest/presbyter this year at Chester Cathedral are remarkable men and women, of all ages, from all backgrounds, wanting to offer themselves to the service of every kind of community in Christ’s name. What astonishing good news that is; a sign of God at work in ordinary people’s lives, and such hope for the future of our church and the work of the Kingdom of God.”

  
 

Above ... newly-deaconed Virginia Gerearts, Mark Turner and Jennifer Dunlop